If you’re looking to play your Nintendo Wii games on modern technology such as your PC, your Mac or your smartphone then you’ll probably want to download one of the best Nintendo Wii emulators around.
Playing the best Nintendo Wii games wherever you want without having to spend a fortune on the classic consoles is becoming a more popular way to play these classic games.
But, you need to be aware the yes, emulators are in-fact legal to download, but downloading ROM’s is frowned upon and stated against Nintendo’s policy. As a business, Retro Dodo cannot recommend you to download ROM’s, however, we can recommend the best Nintendo Wii emulators.
It’s still a grey area when it comes to the legalities of ROM’s but according to many the way to get around it is to use your original cartridge to rip the ROM which you have a legal right too. So, that’s why emulators are legal, because you can in fact legally use the ROMs from your owned cartridges/games.
So, with that sorted, let’s take a look at some of the best Nintendo Wii emulators out there!
**PLEASE NOTE – This article is purely for educational, scientific, and knowledge-enhancing**
purposes only and should be treated in the same way as a highly exciting thesis or dissertation. Retro Dodo does not condone illegal downloading or any other shady activities that might get anyone (namely us) into trouble. Please check the legality of ROM downloading in your area and always follow government guidelines on internet safety and copyright laws.
If you’ve read our article about the best Gamecube emulators you will be familiar with Dolphin. Dolphin is a free Nintendo Wii emulator for PC, Mac and Android smartphones.
But, we most state the obvious here. Emulating Nintendo Wii games requires a lot of power, most PC’s and Macs can do this but when it comes to Android smartphones you will need an extremely powerful on to do so.
Smartphones around the range of $400+ should do the trick, but anything less than that with Quad Core processing may struggle. Its due to the large CPU power needed to run the large 3D games and large files of Nintendo Wii Games.
The Dolphine emulator is renowned for being one of the best due to the large number of settings that you can change and the relaiblility.
Why Dolphin is superior to its competitors is simply because of the smooth output. Its rare that you will get crashed, freezes or frame rate drops with Dolphin (that’s if you have the correct power).
You can map your keys, show the buttons on screen, check frame rate drops, change resolution, save states, love states, add cheats, you name it and Dolphin can do it.
It is one of he best Nintendo Wii emulators out there, as of writing this article. There is more information using the button below.
The second on our best Nintendo Wii emulators list is one known as Cemu. It’s a free emulator for PC users who want to play Nintendo Wii U games on their desktop or laptop.
It was created by Exzap and Petergrov primarily for PC Users. What makes Cemu so great is the compatibility, ease of use and somewhat easy user interface to navigate through.
Many choose Cemu over Dolphin because the developers behind it are focusing on one console, and one console only instead of having to constantly fix Gamecube emulation like Dolphin.
Due to the developers being somewhat active and updating the software almost bi-weekly, it is rumoured that they will release this emulator for Mac users in the coming months too.
Not only can you save games, load games, change key mappings and so on, but you can also upscale the games to 4K resolution should your PC or Mac be powerful enough.
The emulation is smooth, reliable, and easy to understand, but the comfortability of using Cemu comes down to the quick development updates from the team.
This is worth a shot! All that’s need is your PC to be running Windows 7or above, have Open GL 4.1 as a minimum and at least 4GB of RAM. Then you’re ready to game!
P.S. You can also use your Wii remotes with it too! It’s no Wii Boy Colour, but it will do!
Compared to Dolphin and Cemu the Decaf Nintendo Wii Emulator is honestly, nothing special and comes from a community driven background. Which, there’s nothing wrong with, but it doesn’t have the backing nor frequent updates to even compare with its competitors.
Nonetheless, we wanted to feature it because, well, it works!
Decaf is a free Nintendo Wii U emulator for PC. It started as an experiment, but soon grew in popularity because it worked well at times. It’s easy to install, has a somewhat easy UI and you can do all of the basics like save, load, and change the settings.
The only downfall with Decaf is that it does tend to have low framerates and struggled with the larger 3D games that the Wii and Wii U have to offer.
Its not enough to stop you from gaming, but when the competitors have barely no framerate drops its hard to choose Decaf over it, especially with very infrequent updates.
But, if you want to try something new, and fancy supporting the underdog then Decaf is a good shout! Apparently, as of writing this article it can also run on Linux.
There you have it, a brief look at the 3 best Nintendo Wii emulators out there, all of them costing a whopping $0, how cool!
We will update this article with any new updates regarding these emulators and we’ll update it with new entries should new emulators rise from the shadows. We’re also tempted to take a look at rare Nintendo Wii’s just like the rare Gameboys article we wrote. Happy gaming ya’ll!
A 29 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and created a YouTube channel with 240,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.